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Monday, September 26 2011

Dan's Galilee Panhandle

In English, the name Dan is an abbreviation of the name Daniel. In Hebrew (from which the English name Daniel originated), "Dan," pronounced in Hebrew as dawn, means judge, while "Daniel," pronounced in Hebrew as dawn-ee-ale, means judged by God. Although those definitions were plainly stated by Rachel, her son, the Israelite patriarch (her surrogate son, born from her servant Bilhah) was curiously named "Dan," rather than Daniel.

Israelite Tribal Lands

"30:1 And when Rachel [see also The Syrian Marriage Wells and The Rachel Prophecies] saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.

30:2 And Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God's stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?

30:3 And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her.

30:4 And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went in unto her. 30:5 And Bilhah conceived, and bare Jacob a son. 30:6 And Rachel said, God hath judged me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son: therefore called she his name Dan." (Genesis 30:1-6 KJV)

Dan became a progenitor of one of the twelve Israelite tribes i.e. from Levi came the Levites (see Are Levites 'Jews'?), from Judah came the Jews (see Who Were The First Jews?), from Dan came the Danites etc. When the Israelites were given the territory promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (the LORD changed Jacob's name to "Israel"), each tribe was assigned its own territory (note from the map that the God-commanded "promised land" included areas on both sides of the Jordan River; see also Beyond Jordan). Dan was allotted (an accurate term, because the territories were chosen by lot) a territory in the south, bordering adjacent to Gaza of the Philistines ("Palestine" is merely an English pronunciation of "Philistine").

"19:40 And the seventh lot came out for the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families.

19:41 And the coast of their inheritance was Zorah, and Eshtaol, and Irshemesh, 19:42 And Shaalabbin, and Ajalon, and Jethlah, 19:43 And Elon, and Thimnathah, and Ekron, 19:44 And Eltekeh, and Gibbethon, and Baalath, 19:45 And Jehud, and Beneberak, and Gathrimmon, 19:46 And Mejarkon, and Rakkon, with the border before Japho." (Joshua 19:40-46 KJV)

The people of Dan discovered that their allotment was "too little for them." Was that because the LORD made a mistake in measuring the territories? Some translations of the Scriptures make it seem so (e.g. "the coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them" from Joshua 19:47 in the KJV), but that was not the reason. The Danites didn't have enough territory because they failed to take and/or hold all of the territory that was given to them. The militarily-powerful Philistines repulsed the Danite efforts (as they continued to do long afterward e.g. the famous Samson, who was a Danite, was killed by the Philistines of Gaza). The RSV correctly translates it as "When the territory of the Danites was lost to them." Even the NIV correctly translates it as "But the Danites had difficulty taking possession of their territory." The result was that, rather than calling for assistance from the other tribes, which they had every right to do because the Danites had fought for the others in the same way, the Danites went north to unassigned territory and claimed it for themselves - the reason that Dan's territory is split was their choice, not that of the LORD. Nevertheless, the Danites captured the city of Leshem "and called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father."

"19:47 And the coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them: therefore the children of Dan went up to fight against Leshem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it, and dwelt therein, and called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father.

19:48 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families, these cities with their villages." (Joshua 19:47-48 KJV)

"They dwelt therein, and called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father"

The northern city of Dan is located in "the Finger of the Galilee" (in Hebrew pronounced etz-ba ha-galil), a panhandle ("a relatively narrow strip of land projecting from some larger area") extending up from Galilee - hence the reason that it also became known in English as "the Galilee Panhandle." As such, by the time of Samuel (see The Prophets: Samuel and The Civil War Kings), the city of Dan became the de-facto northern point of the land of Israel i.e. "all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba" (it's about 144 miles from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south).

The South Gate Of The City Of Dan

"3:19 And Samuel grew [see also Hannah's Dedication], and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. 3:20 And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD. 3:21 And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD." (1 Samuel 3:19-21 KJV)

By the time of the Israelite kings (see Kings of Israel and Judah), "Dan to Beersheba" was a national statement.

"4:21 And Solomon [see The United Kingdom] reigned over all kingdoms from the river unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt: they brought presents, and served Solomon all the days of his life.

4:22 And Solomon's provision for one day was thirty measures of fine flour, and threescore measures of meal, 4:23 Ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and an hundred sheep, beside harts, and roebucks, and fallowdeer, and fatted fowl. 4:24 For he had dominion over all the region on this side the river, from Tiphsah even to Azzah, over all the kings on this side the river: and he had peace on all sides round about him. 4:25 And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon." (1 Kings 4:21-25 KJV)

Even after Israel split into two independent kingdoms (see The Division Of Israel), "Israel" (see The Northern Kingdom) and "Judah" (see The Southern Kingdom), Dan, which was in Israel, was still recognized as the northernmost point of the Israelite people.

"30:1 And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel. 30:2 For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month. 30:3 For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem. 30:4 And the thing pleased the king and all the congregation. 30:5 So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel at Jerusalem: for they had not done it of a long time in such sort as it was written." (2 Chronicles 30:1-5 KJV)

The northern kingdom of "Israel" fell about 130 years before the southern kingdom of Judah, but for the same reason - idolatry and defiance to the commands of the LORD (see also No Levites In The Lost Ten Tribes?). In the time of Jeroboam (see Jeroboam Of Israel), a calf idol was set up in Dan, making an idol a border marker for his corrupt kingdom.

"12:25 Then Jeroboam built Shechem in mount Ephraim, and dwelt therein; and went out from thence, and built Penuel.

12:26 And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David: 12:27 If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah.

12:28 Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 12:29 And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan. 12:30 And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.

12:31 And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi. 12:32 And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. 12:33 So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense." (1 Kings 12:25-33 KJV)

Fact Finder: When the Assyrians conquered the northern kingdom of Israel, was the northernmost city of Dan among the first to be taken?
See The Galilee Captivity

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This Day In History, September 26

70: The fall of Jerusalem, as prophesied by Jesus Christ (see What Did Jesus Christ Say About Those Stones?).

1396: German and French "Crusaders" were defeated by Ottoman forces at Nicopolis (the Ottoman Empire, centered in Turkey, was the dominant imperial force in the Middle East for centuries; listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).

1580: Francis Drake returned to England after completing the first English voyage around the world.

1626: Lancelot Andrewes died at age 71. The English theologian and court preacher during the reigns of James I and Charles I oversaw the translation of the King James Version of the Holy Scriptures.

1687: The Parthenon (the great pagan temple that was built in 447 BC; see Paul In Athens) in Athens was severely damaged in a battle between the Ottomans and the Venetians.

1777: During the rebellion of the New England colonies that were established by the British in the wilderness over a century earlier, the British army temporarily took back control of the British-built city known as Philadelphia. The city was planned, built and named by William Penn, an English land developer sent by King James. Ironically, Pennsylvania was named after William Penn - a life-long loyal servant of the king (Penn was born and died in England) who was not involved in the rebellion.

1829: The British "Scotland Yard" police organization was founded.

1854: The "Charge of The Light Brigade" during the Crimean War (1853-1856). The suicidal charge of an English light-cavalry brigade during the Battle of Balaklava in the Ukraine was made famous in a poem by Alfred Tennyson.

1934: The British liner Queen Mary was launched.

1950: United Nations troops recaptured the South Korean capital of Seoul from the North Koreans.

1967: During the Vietnam civil war between the Vietnamese people of the north and south, of which France (in the 1940s and 1950s), then the U.S. (in the 1960s and 1970s) involved themselves, the government of North Vietnam rejected a U.S. peace proposal that would have made the division of Vietnam permanent.

1984: Britain and China agreed that Hong Kong would revert to Chinese control in 1997 (which it did).

1990: In Russia, the Supreme Soviet ended decades of religious repression with a new law that prohibited government interference in religious activities.

1997: With Germany re-united (again), Chancellor Helmut Kohl laid the foundation stone for a new Chancellery building in Berlin (see Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Euro!).


Copyright © Wayne Blank